July 24th, 2015

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In This Issue
College Scholarship Recipient
Alexis Ross
Piano for Sale
Positions Available
Oakton Six Piano Ensemble Auditions
College Scholarship Recipient


Dear Mrs. Kramer and the members of the NWSMTA,

I can't thank you enough for the summer camp and college scholarships I've been awarded this spring. Since attending Interlochen last summer, I've dreamed of immersing myself in another music camp to further refine my compositional skills, so I was overjoyed when I found out I'd been accepted by Tanglewood. Going to a summer music camp will be more financially difficult for me this time around, and I greatly appreciate the help you're able to offer. At Tanglewood, I'll be presented with more opportunities than I've ever had before, including an orchestral reading (a must for many composer hoping to study at the graduate level). In a little over a month and a half, I'll be heading off to my artistic idyll.

Tanglewood, though, will be a mere prelude to the main event-- Columbia University. I didn't think about Columbia much during application season, mostly because I didn't expect to be admitted. Now that I suddenly find myself going, however, I couldn't be happier. Columbia is one of the most creative and exuberant of the Ivies, and it just so happens to be nestled in New York City, the artistic capital of the world. Attending Tanglewood should give me the musical street cred to hit the ground running as an undergraduate composer, and I'll also have the resources to pursue any other passion that takes my fancy. Since my NSWMTA scholarship will cover some of the funds I would otherwise have to raise through work-study, it'll give me a freer schedule and more time to devote myself to arts and academics during my first year at Columbia.

You can probably sense how much I'm looking forward to all this, and how grateful I am for the assistance you'll be providing. Once again, I can't thank you enough!

Nathaniel Lindstrom

Alexis Ross

Hi Janice,

Thanks for the get well card! You're absolutely right that the healing process seems easier knowing people care and are ending good thoughts your way.

My eyes are good - I still see double when I look all the way up or down, but I'm not as annoyed as I was before, it's safe driving and checking blind spots, I'm not hunched over when teaching or playing piano and it's certainly better than it was before. I don't think it will ever be perfect - but I'm not dead or paralyzed! I can deal with it.

The Hanon got too boring - maybe I'll start to revisit it in a few weeks. I aborted Hanon, Czerny and scales in lieu of Mendelssohn. I just couldn't take the monotony anymore! I tried playing through a Brahms rhapsody but it was too frustrating with my hand coordination. Things are very very very very slowly getting better - I see a little bit more confidence and skill coming back into my playing month by month.

I finished therapy at Thanksgiving. I would spend three hours at therapy and then come home and actually sweat out a two-hour workout (thank God I have an elliptical - I'm extremely active, so sitting all day just waiting to heal is not an option for me! I spend literally 3 hours a day at the gym during the winter when there' no yard work to be done). I think pushing myself to get my strength and entrance back actually helped things move along - and being active makes me happy, so being in a good mood helped my brain injury. My balance and coordination are still a little off. I used to think it was mainly from my double vision, but now I'm realizing it's mainly from the brain injury. I still can't play fast, loud OR staccato in my right hand, but for my students, I can make it work.

No headaches! For the most part, I feel fine and I've actually had a couple days over the past 2 weeks where I just feel...normal. I'm getting used to the double vision (weird weird weird), and I just don't think about it/notice it as much. The pain in my collarbone is 95% gone; back pain is non existent (ok, it didn't feel good today for the first time in months - maybe I overdid it by running 9 miles multiple times the past week????).

Glad the summer is starting - I teach Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday and then take a 4-day weekend. But Mondays and Tuesdays I'll probably end up teaching 20 students each day. That's ok, I love it! As long as I have my Thursdays and Fridays free to garden :D

Have a fantastic summer,

I sent a get well card to Diane Adamek due to her surgery.   

Janice Wilkans
Hospitality Chair
Piano for Sale

  Kawaii Serial #802T - $2200  or best offer.

The piano is located in Palatine.  If you would like to make an appointment to see the piano please email  It was purchased in 1984 and has been tuned twice a year.  

Jim Peterson of Hofmann Piano Service has been the technician used to tune the piano.  He said the piano is in excellent condition.  He is willing to answer questions about it.  His email is
Positions Available

My name is Christina Virgilio and I am the choir teacher at Fremd High School.  I am writing because I am looking for a choir accompanist for this year at Fremd. 


The basic schedule will be 3 days a week with 5 choir classes.  The class hours are from 7:30 a.m.-1:50 p.m. so if they teach private lessons, they would be able to get home for after-school lessons. 


If you have recommendations for anyone that might be local and looking for part-time work, please let me know.  


Thanks so much!  


Christina Virgilio


Fremd High School Choir





Oakton Six Piano Ensembles Auditions


Be part of a unique musical experience as a member of the Oakton Six Piano Ensemble. Auditions for this internationally acclaimed touring group will be on

Wednesday, September 16 and Thursday, September 17 from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. in Room 1360 at Oakton Community College, 1600 East Golf Road, Des Plaines.  For more information about the auditions, contact Glenna Sprague at or (847) 635-1905.


Interested pianists may bring a prepared piano piece, but music will be provided.  The group performs repertoire from the classical, ragtime, jazz, and popular periods that are transcribed for the six pianos by the ensemble's founder and conductor, Glenna Sprague, Professor and Coordinator of Music at Oakton, where she also teaches piano.  The rich layered sound of the Six Piano Ensemble is comparable to that of an orchestra, with each member playing a different part of a composition as the melody transfers from pianist to pianist.  The ensemble provides an excellent opportunity for those pianists who do not want to perform as soloists, but want to keep up their playing skills and be part of an ensemble situation.


Renowned composer Robert Vandall created a special piece for the Six Piano Ensemble entitled Oakton Toccata, published by Alfred Music Publishing Company.  The group has released compact discs, Oakton Six Piano Ensemble: Live in Concert and Oakton Six Piano Ensemble: Live in Concert II.


Critics hail the sound of the Oakton Six Piano Ensemble as "extraordinary", "unique", and "musical."   The artistic success of the Oakton Six Piano Ensemble has resulted in prominent concert performances across the United States and Europe, including the College Music Society International Conference in Vienna, Austria; Hawaii Music Teachers Association in Honolulu; MTNA National Conferences in Atlanta and Spokane, numerous MTNA state conferences; National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Music Teachers Association of California State Convention in Los Angeles; GP3 National Conference at University of Oklahoma; Steinway of Chicago Community Concert Series,  Harold Washington Library, Navy Pier, and Civic Opera House in Chicago.


In October, the Ensemble will perform a concert for the Kentucky Music Teachers Association State Conference at Western Kentucky University.

NCKP Schedule Change
Bruce Berr has had to cancel his Workshop presentation at the Conference next week because of some physical issues he is having to deal with.


FYI, they have asked Elvina Pearce to fill in for him on Thursday, the 30th, at 2:15 in the Grand Ballroom CD.  She will be speaking on Schumann (on  teaching, practicing, and performing his music). Since this change happened after the program went to print, please tell everyone you know about this. 


Also -- Elvina is hoping that you can come to ALFRED's Exhibitors Showcase on Friday, the 31st (from 5:00 to 6:00) at which time she'll be doing a presentation of her 3 new Alfred publications.

Northwest Suburban Music Teachers Association
Robin Meredith-Kramer, President
Maureen Flood, Website

Deborah Lynch, Newsletter